What’s Ironic Sans?*

Back when people still read blogs, Ironic Sans was mine. I tried to write original and evergreen content not just for my regular readers, but to create a backlog of amusement for someone finding my site for the first time. It was well read in some circles, and there’s a good chance you may have seen some of the posts that went viral over the years. The site is still around, and you can poke through the archive.

As Twitter became the new place for amusing thoughts, and after the death of Google Reader and the birth of my kids, I found less need to keep writing a blog. But I still have ideas I want to share that can’t fit in a tweet. I increasingly see Newsletters as replacing RSS — an easy way for people to select content that comes to them rather than having to visit separate sites. And so here we are.

Here are some popular back-issues representing what you might find in this newsletter:

  • The Harold Hill of Movie Making — In the early 20th century, “itinerant filmmakers” went from town to town making the same movie over and over again with local townsfolk in all the roles.

  • The Tragic Genius of Brent Lee Farley — One day in 2009, I got an email that just said, “Please GOOGLE Brent Lee Farley you may see something you like.” So I did, and I met a creative inventor who I made a short film about. Ten years later, he killed himself. This is everything I know about what happened in between.

  • Innovations in Juggling — You will be surprised by the ways people have come up with to throw balls to themselves.

  • Everybody Still Hurts — A community has formed in the comments section of the R.E.M. video for Everybody Hurts on YouTube. But with all the public cries for help, the page still offers no resources for people contemplating self-harm.

  • My Neighbor Turturro — I used to live by John Turturro. This is the story of how our daily crossing became part of my morning commute.

  • A Crazy LEGO Journey — This is the story of how one ordinary family went from LEGO-curious to LEGO-crazy.

  • Recreating Jeopardy! — A photographer based in Washington has been recreating classic quiz show sets as digital 3D models.

  • Clownfall — The unbelievable but true tragic story of an early circus clown.

  • When Nobody’s Watching — What happened on a major network when the writers of an unpopular sitcom stopped caring and started getting creative.

  • Timothy Leary’s Missing Book — Strange tales from my years working at a major auction house in New York.

  • The Art of Cool of Ice — The 1991 Vanilla Ice movie is far more beautiful than it has any right to be. The cinematographer went on to win Oscars for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. But we all have to start somewhere, and it’s always worth giving your all to even the smallest projects.

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If you’re a new visitor, read more past issues in the archive. I wrote them for you.


*The name Ironic Sans came from the first post on the blog, which suggested Ironic Sans would be a good name for a serif font.

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An unconventional look at culture, popular and otherwise.